Volunteering and Nursing School

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I'm considering doing volunteer work at a hospital or either at a nursing home. I don't know how many hours volunteers are supposed to put in, but my guess is perhaps once a week. I already work full-time at a hospital and I'll continue to do so while going to nursing school full-time this fall. I want to know if anyone has done any volunteering while in school, how many hours you volunteered, and has it been helpful for applying for externships and jobs. I keep hearing that nursing school will consume my life, so should I only volunteer during the summer and breaks, or should I go to the volunteer interview and decide what to do after that? Thanks!


155 Posts

Nursing school can consume your life...if you let it. Do not let it. I think you have enough on your plate with going to school full time & working full time. Actually I think that that is ALOT to handle. If I were you I would just work part time & volunteer a couple of hours a week - that alone is ALOT. You need to factor in alot of things when deciding what to do: such things like level of course work, credit hours, meeting finances, social time, YOU time, etc. I have 12 credits this fall - one 400 level course (8 hours) and one 3 level course (4 hours), working PRN, volunteering a couple hours a week, and am part of a student organization. I have volunteered only during the summer hours which has been helpful in finding a job. Any more questions? - Let me know how I can help ya!


887 Posts

Most hospitals require that you can fulfill at least a six month commitment as a volunteer, and it's usually about four hours a week. So I don't think the hours per week would be a big deal but whether or not you think you'd be able to keep up with it for six months.


267 Posts

Some hospitals, like mine, only require a 2 hour a week commitment. Normally I would encourage everyone in NS to volunteer in a hospital (or similar) but as you already work in one why don't you try a strategic move?

Think about what you want to get from the volunteering. I don't know what you do in your hospital but if it is behind the scenes and not on a unit, perhaps you could apply for a job on a unit. Many of our unit clerks/secretaries have been nursing students and several of them go on to be hired in our unit (or another one) after graduation. We really love it and I think it makes a huge difference to them as a new grad to be familiar with their surroundings.

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